Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Day in Seattle

We spent a day at the Pike Place Market downtown Seattle to watch the fish "fly."  After getting through the traffic and finding a parking spot, we had a great time just checking out the people and the marketplace for the morning.The seafood look wonderful!  Some of it was so huge that we had never seen anything so large in our lives!  We would have loved to take it all home, but of course, even in the port, it was quite expensive, especially for a family of six.  We did have a wonderful lunch overlooking the port.  All of us chose some sort of fish or seafood (except the little ones!)Our other stop while at the fish market was to check out the Seattle Aquarium.  We actually got a family membership with two guest passes for the year for $16 cheaper than it would have cost for individual passes to get in.  I suggest if you visit anywhere with a family, to fully check out the difference in price, you may be able to save yourself a few bucks and often membership at one aquarium or zoo will give you a discount at another in the US.After a shopping trip at Cabela's, we went to the much anticipated Japanese Steakhouse, where we all had Habachi for dinner.  The food was even better, as it came with an entertaining chef that kept calling us paparazzi for taking so many pictures.  Here he is making a volcano out of onions.  The kids were absolutely fascinated with the whole process and it gave us a wonderful experience with the Japanese culture once again.  (We had a Japanese foreign exchange student last year.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fun in Washington, Oregon & the Rain!

Here are my pictures as promised.  It took a bit to get the pictures from one computer to another and then upload, all of which we don't seem to have time to do on vacation!  This is the Jellystone Campground in Missoula that we stayed at.  Very beautiful in the background and wonderful bathrooms!!!

To those that are concerned about our brakes - it was not a mechanical or driver error that overheated them, but an effort to have common courtesy to the driver of the Enterprise truck that was tailing us down the mountain.  In an effort to move off the road down-hill, Mr. Airstream had to slam on the brakes to get everything to a stop, which in turn overheated them.  We have brakes on the Airstream and a hand controller, but after some deep, technical discussions with Mr. Airstream's brake supplier, it was decided to keep the brakes on the Airstream set lightly.  It is better to burn out the brakes on the truck, than the Airstream.  Truck brakes can be changed easier and cheaper, whereas the Airstream ones aren't meant to stop the truck & tow, just the tow...hense the lighter brake setting.  All is ok - the truck brakes recovered quickly, as did everyone's racing hearts.  Hope the Enterprise driver appreciates the courtesy, but we have our doubts!
We went over the border to Oregon on our first day for a tour of the Columbia River Gorge.  It was raining off and on all day, but it didn't deter us from having a wonderful time.After visiting many of the falls along the Historic route, we ended up at the Multnomah Falls, the big Daddy of them all!  What a beautiful sight!  We would have loved to hike up to the bridge in front of it, if it wasn't for the pouring rain!Our final stop before navigating the traffic home, was the Bonneville Fish Hatchery.  We got to feed the trout in the picture and also saw Herman the Stergeon (sp?).  He is 10 feet long and quite a novelty with the kids.  All agreed they could do a few more hatcheries along the way.  We may have to start hitting them in WI soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Washington - We Made It!

After 3 long days of traveling on the road, we were all ready to take a rest and be done with the towing in Washington!  We are staying at the beautiful Ike Kineswa State Park, where the sites are so over grown with the outdoors that we can't even tell that it is rainy, except to go to look out at the lake for rain drops.  An added bonus is that the campground has water, electrical and sewer on each site!  I love taking showers!

Our final day of driving brought us a few surprises - we overheated the brakes going over White Pass because of a rental truck tailing us coming down.  After a sit for awhile on the side of the road to let them cool down, we were again on our way.  Fortunately for the brakes, it was only 40 degrees there, so they cooled down quickly.

We have a forcast of 50's and rain for the week - wouldn't you know?  Our garden at home is forcasted to not get any rain - sorry to our faithful friends who are caring for it.  We aren't sure what we are up to today, but we will update you soon with some pictures...(when we figure out how to get them into my in-laws computer!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Westward Ho! - Our first Boondock

We achieved our first Wal-mart boondocking in Gillette, Wyoming!  I know, it's well overdue, but our 1953 Clipper doesn't have a bathroom or 12-volt hook-up, so it makes a difficult time of boondocking.  Last year, we didn't have the 1963, quite up to par for it yet, so we never attempted a Wal-mart stay.We were very excited to stay in a Wal-mart parking lot (I know it sounds sort of sick, but hey, to a 3 and 5 year old, staying at Wal-mart is gold!)We were proud that we made our first leg of our trip to Gillette from WI in one day.  You might be wondering how our night in Wal-mart went.  It was alright, until the street sweeper started to clean the parking lot at 4am!  It went around and around us until 7am!  He must have just loved driving all the RV's crazy at that time of the morning!  Well, in one way, it was great to come in late at night and stay for free, in another - it was very noisy!  All systems were a go for water and 12-Volt for the Airstream!

Tonight - the adults in the car (our sister-in-law is traveling with us) need a shower, so we are in a Jellystone Park in Missoula, Montana.  A very nice park for $35 - water, sewer, and electric, wireless internet (for $4 extra) and wonderful showers - what more could a girl ask for?!    Tomorrow - our plan is to make it to Washington....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Snack Attack!

On a normal day in our family, everyone eats a simple breakfast and goes about their business.  We don't snack, we don't eat until lunch and then the same routine for dinner.  Well, for some reason, the moment we get into the truck for a trip, not 30 minutes down the road, we all are hungry!  It never fails.  (I personally think it is way better than everyone having to go to the bathroom!)  So, before we go on a trip, I try to pack our Airstream heavily with snacks for the road.  I figure that it is a little more trouble than usual, but it way cheaper than stopping for snack foods at the gas stations, or heaven forbid, the McFastfood!  Here are the snacks I made the other day...Are you ready to dive in, yet?  Starting from the top left are Ranch Pretzels, Energy bars (top Right), homemade granola bars (middle), Bear Party Mix (lower left), and Ranch Party Mix (bottom right).  I also made a nut and M&M mix to go with these.

I'll tell you two of the recipes right now.  I hope you enjoy.

Ranch Pretzels
given to me by my Mom - it's the best tasting snack ever!

2 - 1 lb. bags Pretzels
1 bottle Orville Redinbacher Butter Flavored Popcorn Oil
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Put the pretzels in tupperware.  Pour out a little of oil over the bowl.  Pour the dressing into the bottle and shake well.  Pour the mixture over the pretzels and stir well.  Mix the pretzels every 2 hours until the oil is all soaked up.  Eat and Enjoy!

Bear Party Mix
taken from "Mom's Camper Cooking" by Rita Hewson

1 (10 oz.) box Bear Shaped Cinnamon Graham Crackers
1 (14 oz.) pkg. Dried Bananas, broken into pieces
1 (12 oz.) can Honey Roasted Peanuts (I used honey roasted almonds)
1 (16 oz.) bag Candy Coated Chocolate Candies

Stir all the ingredients together and store in a tightly covered container.  Yeild 11 cups. 
* I added in Reeses Pieces too!  Yummy!

To keep us from eating the whole gallon in one morning or afternoon, I am letting each child pick the mix they would like for the morning drive to eat.  If they eat it right away, it's gone until lunch!  Then they will get to refill their cup in the afternoon with another mix of their choice.  This will keep it to serving sizes for everyone, including Dad, and no one will say "I'm hungry!"  Stay tuned for our updates on our trip starting tomorrow.  We will update this blog as we are able to get service!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spice Rack

I wanted to share with you my new spice rack that Mr. Airstream made.  If you look to the far left of the picture, you can see the spice rack hanging on the wall.  It was completely rotten, so it had to be replaced.  We decided to make it the same size, but deeper for extra things to be put there.It looks a little different, because we didn't put up the paneling in the kitchen, the rack doesn't stand out as much.  We decided to put the paper towels under the rack.  To the left of the paper towel, we added an aluminum towel hanger for kitchen towels to hang on.

I am linking up to: